• Sunday, February 21st, 2010
I haven’t worked on a Podocarpus ever since I displayed one at Epcot 3 years ago. Alothough I have been trying to find a replacement for that one in my collection I have had a hard time finding good material to work on. Last year I found this one at Mike Rogers’ Nursery and had to have it. Over tha past year though, I have lost a lot of upper branches and now it turns out that the entire top is dead.
But deadwood means a great carving project to address in the future of this tree. I already have an idea of what I want to do. I need to establish the branches and structure of this tree first. First things first, let’s get that tree out of the nursery pot and into some bonsai soil to give this tree a kick start.
Upclose look at the trunk and nebari
The base of this trunk is wonderful, lots of different fronts to the tree so plenty of options for development.
Prior to root pruning
The roots of this tree weren’t great, but at least I didn’t need to prune much off to get it into this bonsai pot. The soil mix was also pretty poor for drainage, too much sand. It will really flourish in my bonsai mix
Podocarpus initial potting
Well it doesn’t look much of a Bonsai at this point, but this years goals are simple. Get the tree to develop better roots, and put out new branches. I may get lucky and be able to chose a few branches, but the styling won’t occur until late this year or next year. Just need to keep it alive and happy.
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• Saturday, June 20th, 2009
I have been looking for a new podocarpus to replace the one I sold a couple of years ago. However the search has ended. As I was visiting Mike Rogers I noticed in his nursery a podocarpus with all the features I was looking for. Great nebari, nice movement in the trunk, and lots of carving to do. Plus it already had nice branch placement, what a bonus. The reason I loke carving on Podocarpus is because hen the tree is finished, the contrast between the dark bark, white jins, and dark green foliage can not be beat.
The tree is about 36″ tall and will need a lot of work to get the basic structure set. I plan to let this tree sit during the growing season and then this fall put it into a bonsai pot. Better start saving now, it’s going to be a costly one.
Close up of nebari
Pay no attention to the weeds, I really need to start pulling those before taking pictures. But there is a nice jin on the left side and a wide root spread overall.
Close up of podocarpus top
Just look at all the jins!!! That is a carvers heaven. I just can’t wait to see this tree when it’s finished. The colors and textures will be amazing.
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• Friday, January 16th, 2009
If you have read my blog for any amount of time, you probably realize I don’t do small trees. So I found myself with a bit of a problem as the Tokonama competition draws near. This means that I better do a small tree, and I better do it fast. I found that small pre-bonsai material is CHEAP. I picked up a small Procumbens Nana today at Home Depot (of all places) foronly $4.oo. It was so dense I couldn’t see the trunk, but I knew I only needed a small tree. So no matter what trunk I had in there it would be fine.
what a mess
Just look how dense that foliage is. It took me a few minutes just to figure out where to start.
I was surprized to see such a large trunk when I started to remove the branches. I had really wanted something a little smaller, and I was hoping to do a cascade. There were many options in there, but I needed to find something that looks like an established tree.
This is how it turned out. Not the cascade I was hoping for, but I’m pretty happy with it. The picture was taken right after I watered it, so it has a shine to it. I’m going to hold off on the pictures of the tree in the Tokonama until after the competition. However the funny thing about it is that this tree, even though it is very small, looks big in the Tokonama. Fun stuff. I may get used to doing little trees after all. Who knows?
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• Saturday, January 03rd, 2009
Nope, it’s not a baby, just a Bald Cypress that I have added to my collection. Actually I purchased this collected tree last year from Mary Madison. However it was in too large of a container and it needed another year to recover and develop roots. Even though Bald Cypress do well as Bonsai, this is one type of tree that requires patience. You can’t rush them or you will certainly lose them.
Bald Cypress rootball
Here is the Cypress as I removed it from the nursery container. The ball is huge and needed to be reduced quite a bit.
- Trunk details
However here is the reason I bought the tree. Look at the interest and age of that tree. Amazing!
Bald Cypress Roots
Not as developed as I would like. However growing in the muck that it has been for the past two years it’s no wonder. A year or two in my bonsai soil mix and we’ll have plenty of roots to deal with.
Big trees need big pots
Well the root system couldn’t be reduced as much as I liked, so I had to borrow a pot for the time being. This one is a bit big, but after a year or two I should be able to get a pot that works with the tree and is smaller in size.
Initial planting - Bald Cypress
Certainly not the right pot for this tree, but it will do for the next couple of years while the roots grow stronger. This year I need to work to develop the main trunk lead to create taper for the trunk. Also I want to begin developing low main branching. By next year I hope to have the basic structure defined. Wish me luck.
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